Hands-on STEM

Introduction:

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is prevalent in almost every field and career.  By fostering discovery, engagement and learning in small teams, children are able to develop significant cognitive and interpersonal skills through STEM topics.  The hands-on STEM resources provided assist all children to discover and pursue their passions through exposure to STEM activities, role models, and learning opportunities   Moreover, students will gain confidence as they are exposed to diverse integrated experiences, engage in problem solving with others, and then share their work while they showcase their progress.

 

Key research shows that exposing children to STEM practices in context at an early age assists them in a variety of learning skills and competencies.  Additionally, allowing children to work in small groups with hands-on minds-on activities aids in many areas of learning and social development.  Finally, by providing opportunities to share and showcase work while responding to challenges and exploring different types of  competitions, leads to a greater success in both STEM and in pursuit of other endeavors.  The resources provided here are meant to assist parents, educators and other stakeholders to facilitate these engagements for children in all settings and situations.  

 

Purpose:

Throughout these pages you will find information, recommendations, and sample activities that will enable you to establish and elevate your STEM program.  We hope to be a system of support and inspiration for you and for children as they develop critical life skills through hands-on activities and projects and become excited about STEM.  No single formula exists for creating and maintaining a STEM team or club since every situation, environment, and students are unique.  With this, we hope to provide you with a basic framework to help you realize your purpose, focus, and approach to help your children’s success through STEM.

Getting Started

Based on the best practices and lessons from the LiFE project and the work of our partners, we have gathered information and key resources on how to get started as an individual or group organizer to promote success through STEM.  This section includes information about how to start and run clubs, the obstacles, pitfalls and ways to overcome these. It also has commonly needed documents like permission slips, release forms, recruitment letters and fliers, agenda templates, etc.

STEM in Your Home

These are activities and lesson plans developed by our educators and student STEM role models. These role models prepare a video of an activity and promote STEM and answer questions as a way to support educators, parents and other stakeholders as they help kids practice hands-on, minds-on STEM wherever they may be.  Another effort is to have periodic webinars/talks by STEM subject matter experts, for example, to relate their research and STEM related topics to K-12 audiences with opportunities for question and answer interactions.

Activity Plans

This section guide includes a set of activity plans related to various STEM areas.

© 2020 by NJIT's Collaborative for Leadership, Education, and Assessment Research (CLEAR)

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